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Pregnancy and Your Vision

Pregnancy brings an increase in hormones that may cause changes in vision. In most cases, these are temporary eye conditions that will return to normal after delivery. It’s important for expectant mothers to be aware of vision changes during pregnancy and know what symptoms indicate a serious problem.
Refractive Changes – During pregnancy, changes in hormone levels can alter the strength you need in your eyeglasses or contact lenses.  Discuss any vision changes with your eye doctor who can help you decide whether or not to change your prescription now or wait until after delivery.

Dry Eyes – If you experience dry eyes during pregnancy, it is usually temporary and goes away after delivery.  Lubricating or rewetting drops are perfectly safe to use while you are pregnant or nursing, and can lessen the discomfort of dry eyes.  If dry, irritated eyes make wearing contacts too uncomfortable, don’t worry.  Your eyes will return to normal within a few weeks after delivery.

Puffy Eyelids – Puffiness around the eyes is another common side effect of certain hormonal changes women may have while pregnant.  As a rule of thumb, don’t skimp on your water intake and stick to a moderate diet, low in sodium and caffeine.

Migraine Headaches – Migraine headaches linked to hormonal changes are very common among pregnant women.  In some cases, painful migraines headaches make eyes feel more sensitive to light.  Be sure and talk with your doctor before taking any prescription or non-prescription migraine medications.

Diabetes – Women who are diabetic before their pregnancy and those who develop gestational diabetes need to watch their vision closely.  Blurred vision in such cases may indicate elevated blood sugar levels.

High Blood Pressure – In some cases, a woman may have blurry vision or spots in front of her eyes while pregnant.  These symptoms can be caused by an increase in blood pressure during pregnancy.  At excessive levels, high blood pressure can even cause retinal detachment.

Glaucoma – Women being treated for glaucoma should tell their eye doctor right away if they are pregnant or intend to become pregnant.  While many glaucoma medications are safe to take during pregnancy, certain glaucoma medications can be harmful to the developing baby.

Prenatal care helps keep both you and your unborn child healthy.  Be sure to tell your doctor if you are having any problems.  Keep your eye doctor up-to-date about your overall health as well.  Be sure and tell her about any pre-existing conditions, and about any prescription and non-prescription medications you are taking, as well as any visual changes you are noticing.